Augusta GreenJackets | Position Players
With the Giants top tier prospects generally being pitchers, position players in the lower levels of the system aren't exactly household names. But the Augusta GreenJackets batting order should be loaded with talent in 2014 — beyond just Christian Arroyo.
C - Ty Ross
1B - Blake Miller
2B - Brandon Bednar
SS - Christian Arroyo
3B - Ryder Jones
LF - Shilo McCall
CF - Randy Ortiz
RF - Tyler Hollick
DH - Leo Rojas
Leo Rojas might have been the biggest surprise in Salem-Keizer in 2013. He served his 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance and made his season debut with the Volcanoes on August 4. Over the next 17 games, Rojas raked. He totaled seven doubles, nine RBIs and 19 hits in the final stretch of games to finish with a .309 batting average in 62 at-bats. His quick bat (video above) was evident. Should be great to track him for a full season as he should split the majority of starts behind the dish with Augusta in 2014 with the better defensive catcher, Ty Ross.
After repeating in short-season, second baseman Ryan Jones proved he's ready to leave the Pacific Northwest. A .227 batting average in 198 at-bats in 2012 gave way to more than 100 points of improvement last year as Jones led the team with a .336 mark, including 12 doubles and 25 RBIs. His .429 on-base percentage led the team, as well.
UPDATE: Ryan Jones was recently suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. With that, Brandon Bednar should start most games at second base during that time.
The lineup gets exciting towards the left side of the infield. Following standout seasons in rookie ball, 2013 draftees Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones should be rewarded with the opportunity to skip another short-season to get a crack at an April-to-September grind. Arroyo, the Giants' 25th overall pick in June's draft, led the Arizona League in practically every offensive category, including hits (60), doubles (18), slugging percentage (.511) and OPS (.898) in 45 games of action. Arroyo was a bit shaky defensively to begin his pro career, recording an error in his first two games and three of his first six, but played the next 39 games with just six blemishes. Jones followed Arroyo in the draft as San Francisco's second-round pick, and similarly followed him in statistical performance in 2013. A great rookie season across the board for Jones, including a .317 batting average and nine doubles in 37 games. When I asked Ryan Vogelsong who most impressed him when he spent a day with the AZL squad, Vogey said Ryder Jones — and left it at that.
BENCH: (1B/OF) Craig Massoni, (IF) John Polonius, (3B) Ryan Tuntland, (OF) Rafael Rodriguez, (C) Eugene Escalante
Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to comment on the 2014 Minor League Roster Predictions page. Discussion is always good.